Fortunately, the company already had something it could adapt for such purposes.
“The system takes advantage of our low latency alert mechanism that we designed for earthquake alerts,” tweeted Dave Burke, Google’s vice president of engineering for Android.
“The system starts rolling out today and will scale up to target all Android phones in Ukraine over the next few days.”
The search giant also detailed a number of other steps it has just taken to protest Vladimir Putin’s invasion on the blog.
This includes suspending the “vast majority” of its business operations in Russia, including banning ads for all Russia-based advertisers, stopping payment functionality for most of its services, halting new cloud subscriptions and the removal of monetization options on YouTube.
“To help the growing number of refugees in the region, we are developing ways for businesses to report whether they provide services to refugees,” the company continued.
“We have all seen the images of the humanitarian and refugee disaster unfolding in Ukraine.
“From today, hoteliers in countries neighboring Ukraine can indicate on their business profile whether they offer free or discounted accommodation to refugees.”
Local businesses will also be able to post their business profiles on search and maps to offer assistance and services to refugees.
“As we compile this information over the next few weeks, we will enable people to quickly find these places on search and on Maps.”
Recent reports indicate that more than two million people have now left Ukraine as refugees since Russia invaded on February 25.
Tech companies including Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Sony, TikTok and more have all halted or limited their services in the country, with virtually global condemnation of Putin’s actions.